Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What's new with us?

Reid has added "uh oh" to his list of words.  He says it often but mostly as he throws small pieces of food off of his highchair tray.

Cole and Gwen started preschool on 9/10/12.  I was a little nervous about what would happen the first morning but they kissed me and then walked into their classroom hand in hand.  Their teachers thought it was cute that they chose coat hooks right next to each other.  When I asked how they had done, Mrs. Lynch told me that Gwen hasn't been mothering Cole too much and that she prefers playing with the other little girls.  She also said that Cole is extremely enthusiastic  and is right there with bells on every time they switch activities.

The night before they started school, Gwen asked if she could put some lotion on after her bath.  I told her that the tub of Cereve was on REid's dresser.  A few minutes later Andy found her covered in butt paste and trying to scrub it off at the bathroom sink.  The poor girl had grabbed the butt paste instead of the moisturizer cream.  Thankfully i was able to get the majority of it off but i'm sure she made a wonderful first impression!

UD Pics

On Reid's birthday we finally got around to taking the kids UD pic.  I remember the days when I was very organized and rarely procrastinated.  I remember not understanding why people waited until the last minute to do things.  Now I have a slightly different perspective. I was taking their pic on Reid's birthday that was supposed to be submitted by the time the baby turned one.  We got everyone dressed and ended up taking a walk around the Rose Gardens to snap a few pics.  In the end i think we got a cute pic.  How could anyone not want to print a pick in the Messenger of my three precious kids?

 The Birthday Boy!

 Andy and the big kids looking for ducks for the birthday boy.

Reid's 1st Birthday

On Sunday, September 2, 2012 we celebrated Reid's 1st Birthday with our families.

 Here is my attempt at a duck cake.  Between the time I started planning Reid's party and the day of the party, he learned how to say the word "duck".  Every time he saw the box for this cake pan in the pantry, he proudly said "duck, duck, duck".  I would say besides Mama and Dada, Duck is his first word.

 Playing with balloons at his party.  He was thrilled to play with the big kids.

 Stomp Rockets were a huge hit at the party!
Gwen was excited to wear her party dress.

Reid's Nursing Strike

On Friday, August 17, 2012, Reid decided that he no longer wanted to nurse.  He went from nursing about 5 times a day and throughout the night to refusing to latch.  This was also a big week for Reid as he mastered walking (and running!) and decided to start eating every type of table food that he could reach.  A day before he stopped nursing he bit me while nursing.  When I pulled him off and told him "no bite", he had a temper tantrum on the floor in front of me.  Yes, you read that correctly-- my almost one year old had a temper tantrum.  This kid is very opinionated and very feisty. The few days right after he started striking were very stressful in our household.  Reid and I were both emotional about how everything was going and I was trying to work through my emotions while getting as much advice from my go to lactation consultants and LLL leaders as possible.  I was told that he was on strike and that a baby would not wean himself at this age or this quickly.  We also had the added stress of trying to figure out how to keep REid hydrated as he had never been interested in a sippy cup and now we needed to get some pumped milk into him.  For the first few days he only took in about 3 ounces and most of that was when i added the breastmilk to his yogurt, cereal, pureed food etc.  We especially struggled at nighttime because Reid had always woken up often and nursed to soothe himself back to sleep.  So we had a screaming baby who refused to nurse and refused to take expressed milk from a sippy cup.  Over the next few days i tried everything that the lactation consultants had suggested with no luck.  Every time I even clicked my nursing tank top, Reid screamed and tried to jump off my lap.  Unfortunately, Reid has still not returned to the breast.  I have been pumping four times a day and am making a lot more milk than Reid is drinking.  I have been freezing it and am hoping that I can work things so that he can continue to get the breastmilk through the winter months.  I am very saddened that our nursing journey may have ended so abruptly.  I remember sitting in the nursing chair many nights and nursing my sweet little man thinking that i wanted to truly cherish and enjoy those moments.  IF you had asked me a a month ago how long i planned to nurse Reid, I would have told you that I was planning to let him self wean , which usually happens in the 18-24+ month range.  I still have a little hope left that REid will be one of the few toddlers who return to the breast after a few months or when they hit their next develpmental milestone but in the meantime I'm working through things.

Below is a pic of my adorable little toddler enjoying eating table food :)

Monday, September 10, 2012

A Day at Dorney Park (8/29/12)

We've lived in Allentown for 4 years now and this was our first trip to Dorney Park.  In our defense, I was pregnant the better part of two years and the other summers nursing kept me a little tied down.  Gwen and Cole have enjoyed looking out their car windows at the roller coasters for several years now and the excitement definitely grew this summer after they got a taste of the thrill ride bug at Sesame Place.  Sometimes we even have verbal fights about whose side of the car the roller coasters will be on when we pass (we also have fights about whose side of the car the horse will be on when we go to/from the library).  We chose the perfect end of the season day to check things out at Dorney.  The weather was in the upper 70's and there were only a few lines.  Cole and Gwen went from one ride to the next at Camp Snoopy and even Reid was able to ride since the rule was that you had to be a walker to ride (i still can't believe that my 11 month old was a walker!!!).   We were there from about 10:00 am-4:00 pm and ended the day with a roller coaster ride for mommy and daddy and make your own ice cream sundae treat.  Reid was more interested in playing with the leaves and mulch than eating.  It must be tough deciding between eating ice cream and eating mulch!  He had fun picking up each leaf and throwing it behind a little fence.  

 Seems like this is my only pic of Cole.  See him driving Daddy and Reid in the car?  He's wearing an orange hat.
 Gwen took a break to count how many rides she had been on that day.

 Reid took an extremely short snooze in his stroller.  Eating graham crackers makes one very tired.

Snoopy hugging Gwen after we watched a Snoopy show.  Cole was uninterested in meeting Snoopy.

Growing Up

All three of my babies are growing up!  They do new and amazing things each day and I am so thankful that I am able to stay home with them to share in these special moments.  

 Gwen enjoys drawing pictures of her family complete with the sun and clouds!
 I've been teaching Cole and Gwen how to use the mouse.  Gwen picked it up fairly quickly and has been assisting Cole by putting her little hand on top of his and helping him hold the mouse button down.

 Here is another pic of Gwen enjoying writing and drawing on her dry erase board.  She has mastered writing "Gwen" and those other objects are "doughnuts".  Guess she has her mommy's sweet tooth!
 Reid discovered the joy of riding in his own personal vehicle.  Aunt Sarah and Uncle John had bought this car for the big kids and they had oodles of fun climbing in and out of it and taking rides inside but since we are out of room for big toys inside we decided to let Reid take it for a spin outside.  He smiled and ooohed with excitement as we pushed him around the block. You can just tell that he loves doing things that make him a "big kid".

Here's my full time walker.  A few weeks shy of her first birthday Reid officially became a toddler.  He uses his toes to grip on and he toddles everywhere!

UD Get Together

While we were in Delaware, we visited with some of our college friends.  Eileen and Rishi were brave enough to host a BBQ for the entire crew!  The crew consisted of Eileen, Rishi, James (11 months), Owen (11 months), Ian (3), Andy, Meg, Gwen (3), Cole (3), Reid (11 months), Dave, Deb, Tyler (3), Ray (11 months), Missy, Fred, Lizzie (2), Dave, Monica as well as Eileen's friend Sarah and her family.  That is A LOT of kids and chaos but we had a blast!  We especially enjoyed talking with Dave and Monica about parenting as they are pregnant with their first child.  I keep thinking that i would have enjoyed being a fly in the car with them on the way home from the get together.  I can't even begin to imagine how overwhelmed and scared they were after spending the day with all of us!  Below is our attempt at a group picture.  We failed to do this early on so this about sums up how things go down at the end of a get together with little kids.  

Friday, September 7, 2012

University of Delaware Visit

On Saturday, August 11, 2012, we met up with Nana and Pap Pap at U of D.  Andy and I had been wanting to check out the campus for awhile but the main reason we got our butts in gear to go was because we needed new UD outfits for the kids so we could submit a pic to be published in The Messenger alumni magazine (The rule is that you have to submit it by the time the baby turns one).  Gwen and Cole were practically jumping up and down when they noticed the escalator in the bookstore.  They had recently been introduced to an escalator at the mall and to them it is a ride.  Hey, considering how much we've spent on amusement park and boardwalk rides, i'm game for some free rides!  Thankfully Nana and Pap Pap were up for a few rides up and down on the escalators.  After we convinced the kids to move on from the ride we found some UD apparel and headed to lunch at Peace of Pizza.

Gwen and Pap Pap had fun hopping around North Mall

Reid played in the grass.  He also had fun taking his favorite duck and placing him in the grass repeatedly.
My walking little man!  He wants to go everywhere big brother and big sister go by holding onto my finger with his left hand.

It's the Simple Things

Sometimes a mist the chaos, I just have to stop and smile.  My kids find such pleasure in the simple things.  

 Check out this kid's toothy smile!  He was giggling at me because i was making a donald duck noise.

 A simple diaper box is better than a jungle gym!
 "Mommy, can i have the thing that you use for the raspberries?"  Apparently the colander makes for the perfect astronaut helmet!
 Collecting acorns with Sawyer and Scarlett at Breiningsville Park.
Gwen was very proud of herself when she figured out that she could create buildings with the magnitos on a metal box lid.
Cole has been begging to be a shark for Halloween.  Can you tell how excited he was when I brought home his costume?

Storytime at Macungie Institute

This summer we signed Cole and Gwen up for a free storytime program at The Macungie Institute.  We had fun hanging out with our twin friends and neighborhood friends every Wednesday for story and craft time.  On the last day, a paramedic came to read to the children.  Cole and Gwen received "ambulance hats" and got to go inside an ambulance.  Reid watched the action.

Take note that Cole and REid are dressed in similar colors.  Our little fashion diva, Miss Gwen, has been choosing outfits for everyone each morning and she decided that the boys should dress similarly :)

Duck, Duck, Duck

Once we returned from the wedding, I knew I needed to start working on some party planning for Reid's 1st Birthday.  As usual, I always want to plan well in advance but somehow the days and weeks get away from me and I usually have some scrambling to do close to the event.   I had decided to do a duck theme as he was obsessed with ducks (the theme had changed from owls to lions and finally to ducks).  I knew i would stick with ducks because he had learned the sign for "duck" and was stuttering with signing it day after day :). afternoon I decided to take some pics of Reid for his birthday invitation.  At the time the big kids were playing nearby at their water table and I started snapping pictures of Reid playing with his ducks.  HAve i mentioned how difficult it is to take a picture of this kid?  He is on the move and so interested in everything that is going on around him that he doesn't have time to sit and look at the camera.  Things were going ok until Gwen decided it would be funny to turn the hose on and squirt water at Reid.  We powered through and went with it.  In the end i didn't get a pic that i was thrilled with but it did make for an interesting afternoon!

 The hose incident must have occurred prior to this shot :)

Notice there is no water left in the bucket.  Reid enjoyed splashing in it and pouring it!

The Big Day- 8/4/12

 Reid was ready to dance!
 When Cole and Gwen saw the dance floor they immediately started running in circles!
 Gwen's dancing the night away!
Mommy and her little man stopped to pose for a pic

Rehearsal and Rehearsal Dinner

On Friday, August 3, 2012, we packed everyone up and drive to Williamsport, PA for cousin Elizabeth's wedding.  She had asked if Gwen and Cole would participate in the wedding awhile ago and they seemed pretty excited for the big day.  Gwen was over the moon that she would get to wear a princess dress and throw flower petals and Cole was fairly happy to go along for the ride.  The drive went smoothly and the kids did fairly well at the rehearsal.  Afterwards we went to the grooms' family farm and enjoyed some yummy food.  On a whim we took the kids outside to get some pics and ended up with my new favorite pic of all three kids.  Man, who knew how hard it would be to get all three kids to look at a camera and smile a real smile (not Gwen's fake smile!).  After the rehearsal dinner all five of us went back to our hotel room.  Yup, you heard me correctly-- all FIVE of us stayed in a small suite.  Gwen and Cole shared a pull out couch which did not go well because Gwen was used to sleeping in a full size bed by herself and she kept pushing Cole off to the side.  Reid was back to sleeping better in his carseat so he slept in that on the floor.  Definitely an adventure!  The next morning I took Reid on a walk while Daddy and the big kids went exploring an indoor play area.

 Gwen and Cole wanted to sit with cousin Elizabeth at the rehearsal dinner.  Elizabeth was super sweet and took great care of them.  When it was time for dessert, Gwen shoved several slices of cake into her mouth.  She and Cole were sharing and every time Cole turned away to chat, Gwen stole large pieces of the cake.  Elizabeth joked that they had the same sweet tooth!